Advocating for Women who are Homeless

 McAuley has made submissions to the Affordable Housing Inquiry and to the National Plan to end Violence Against Women over the past months.  In both, McAuley argues strongly that neither the Plan nor the Inquiry can fulfil their potential without understanding that women are at increased risk of homelessness as a result of their greater exposure to violence, poverty and inequality.

Some of the recommendations include:
• The Prime Minister’s Council on Housing and Homelessness is reinstated to receive and provide advice on social and welfare issues, particularly associated with gender and affordable housing;
• Older women and affordable single person housing are prioritised in the National Rental Affordability Scheme
• Any future Action Plan to end Violence against Women has to engage more fully with the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness to ensure women’s needs and priorities are highlighted
• A gendered analysis on all current housing programs and social policy formation is conducted.
For more information: http://mcauleycsw01.iformat.com.au/submissions/Affordable-Housing-Enquiry-20%20March%202014.pdf.

National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness
McAuley was part of a media conference urging Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews to extend homeless funding for a further year. The concerted effort by homelessness services across Australia was rewarded with the further year of $115 million funding from the Commonwealth to be matched by the States. McAuley continues to urge for a new partnership agreement to be put in place after 2015.

New Directions for Social Housing
Victorian Housing Minister Wendy Lovell has released the long awaited social housing framework New Directions for Social Housing. McAuley is pleased to see a focus on placing public housing on a sustainable footing for the future with a respectable role for community housing. However Jocelyn Bignold, McAuley’s CEO, warns that the framework does not include a vision for how the state will tackle housing supply and affordability for the thousands of Victorians who will not be assisted by this policy.

Visiting Politicians
McAuley has met with a number of Victorian politicians over recent months. The aim is to introduce our work to MPs so that they better understand the link between homelessness and violence, poverty, poor health and inequality. McAuley thanks MPs Marsha Thompson and Ben Carroll for taking an interest.